Kinesio- or neuromuscular taping is a Japanese bandage technique that acts on the musculoskeletal and lymphatic system. It was developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase and consists of applying adhesive bandage to the painful part, taking advantage of its elasticity to adapt to the wearer as if it were the skin itself. Surely, you have seen people on the street wearing this tape and wondered: “What is that for?” Keep reading – we’ll fill you in.
Thanks to the bandage’s particular characteristics, the bandaged area can move freely, unlike with classic bandages. Kinesiotaping is very useful in treating pain and muscle injuries, as many athletes and patients have indicated after trying it for a while.
It was first used by orthopedists, chiropractors, acupuncturists and other professionals in Japan; today its use has spread to the whole world, thanks to the stories of the success it has enjoyed in the world of sport and attested to by many athletes who have explained how neuromuscular taping has improved, in one way or another, their athletic performance.
The tape is usually made of an elastic cotton bandage that can be stretched up to 140% of its original length. This tape, as has been demonstrated in practice, successfully corrects the alignment of weak muscles and facilitates joint movement, thanks to the traction qualities of the bandage itself.
This tape must be applied over the stretching muscle, from the origin point of the muscle to its point of insertion. Once applied, the tape is then rubbed, in order to activate the adhesive.
Neuromuscular tape is typically applied in three general shapes: the “I” shape, for small or linear places; the “Y” shape, for larger muscles such as the deltoid; and the “X” shape, for large and long muscles, such as the quadriceps.
Its analgesic properties are also being studied: according to what we have experienced with some of our patients, neuromuscular taping may help reduce inflammation and optimize mobility. This will provide the patient with greater performance and stability when practicing sports and in their daily routines.
Many athletes have explained how neuromuscular taping has improved, in one way or another, their athletic performance.
Neuromuscular Taping Success Stories: From Armstrong to Serena Williams
Neuromuscular taping, an elastic bandage used to treat various dysfunctions, gained wide popularity at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Kerri Walsh was one of the athletes to appear with the tape in competition, but not the only one. Lance Armstrong, for his part, has repeatedly described the numerous benefits of neuromuscular taping. Other athletes, such as Serena Williams, Buffon, Mario Ballotelli, and Djokovic, have expressed their satisfaction with the results of this type of bandage.
One of the best known cases is that of WWE wrestler John Cena, who used the tape to reduce pain and eliminate inflammation after undergoing an operation to remove bone chips from his elbow.